9 activities in Colorado that are fun for any fitness level
Not everyone has to ski out of bounds or hang from fourteeners by carabiners wearing crampons to have fun in Colorado. We moderately fit winter adventurers may choose to follow a “moderation in all things” approach, but even fitness beasts need a down day after that killer leg day at Cross Fit or lapping it for hours at Copper Mountain.
Purgatory Resort’s Snowmobile Adventures in Durango Snowfari is a bit extreme, it’s true—your home base is a hut in the snow at 12,000 feet. Trust us, though, you can easily just chill in the hut and travel by snowmobile on the easier runs if you’re with some beasts who want to go out all day and blasts drifts far afield. Be aware of following the avalanche protocol and follow safety gear advice to the letter in the back country. Call 970-205-9595 or 888-210-9864 to book.
A bit closer to home for many Denverites and COSpringians is two-or three-hour snowmobile tour that makes its way up Georgia Pass between Frisco and Breckenridge with the first tour of the day at 9 a.m. For two hours, the cost is $135 per driver, $65 per passenger, with machines topping out at a weight limit of 400 pounds. Check ahead as hours change and some tours are closed Mondays.
You do need to be in decent shape to take a walk in the woods on a pair of snowshoes—luckily, Breckenridge has several easy trails close to town, and just a few minutes down the road the Frisco Nordic Center offers snowshoe rentals and well signed trails right across the street from the Frisco Adventure Parks’ tubing hill and beginner ski/ride hill.
3. Sleigh rides
If you’re in the area of Breck or Frisco, Two Below Zero Sleigh Rides are a favorite with locals—in fact, Travel Channel stars have rated the team a top destination for winter wonderland enjoyment. In Durango, Rapp Corral lets kids ride free, everyone else at $55 for a team of big, beautiful draft horses decked out in holiday bells. During the 45-minute ride, you’ll also stop for hot cocoa. Those who live in FoCo (Fort Collins) often head out to Beaver Meadows Ranch in Red Feather Lakes, where a stop-off at a cabin during the ride includes a roaring fire, as well as treats and crafts that are fun for the whole family.
At Frisco Adventure Park, you can ride a surface lift called a “magic” up the tubing hill, keeping your heart rate steady for the exciting descent to come. This tubing hill offers 1.200 feet of fun with amazing views. For after-dark runs, try Snowmass Village’s The Meadows at Elk Camp where a $49 activity ticket includes two hours of tubing and Breathtaker Coaster access. Ullr Nights festivities cost $10, children 3 and under are free.
Fraser Tubing Hill is right next door to Winter Park and has reasonable rates at $30 for 90 minutes, with children 3-6 riding free. Keystone’s Snow Tubing at Adventure Point requires riders be 42 inches tall to enjoy its man-made tube shoots and challenging multi-lane hill. Snow is manufactured all year long here for summer visitors, as well.
Let’s say your calves are screaming from a season on the slopes—get relief from a downward dog during a hot yoga session at Summit Hot Yoga on 6th Ave. and Granite Street in Frisco. Visit their website to figure out when you want to sweat and relax to your favorite poses.
6. Dog sledding
Get behind some howling hounds in Summit County and you’ll be amazed at 1) how happy the dogs are when they’re being harnessed—they’re psyched to get to work and 2) how fast you can go over even the most powdery snow. Two great choices include Good Times Adventures between Frisco and Breckenridge ($125 per person) 1-800-477-0144 or in Leadville at Alpine Adventures Dogsledding, where you can reserve the entire dogsled, purchase a kennel tour and a box lunch for longer excursions. Group tours will start around Christmastime, provided, of course, there’s enough snow—with recent storms seeming to point to the affirmative.
7. The Rocky Mountain Coaster at Copper Mountain
This coaster promises thrills—it’s one of the longest in North America at 5,800 and will get your blood pumping on its 430-vertical-foot descent. Book online well in advance for ticket pickup at the Coaster Cabin near the base of the American Flyer lift or make a reservation at Copper Mountain Guest Services in the Camp Hale Outfitters store before 3 p.m. Closed Tuesdays—check monthly schedule for more.
8. Enjoying an adult beverage
A time honored, fireside tradition in Colorado includes sipping our highly-rated distilled spirits, craft beers and surprisingly complex wines après ski or perhaps only après noon. Many distilleries also offer non-alcoholic cocktails for the non-drinkers in your group—these can be super fun and include cool syrups, herbal infusions and even smoked beverages. At Après Handcrafted Libations in Breckenridge, try their Campfire Old Fashioned ($17) and stellar selection of Colorado-sourced beer and whiskey. Local favorite, Tavern West in Frisco features a delicious Wood-Grilled Spanish Octopus ($14) that goes great with their Spicy Cilantro Margherita ($14). Get there for happy hour to sample truffle tator tots ($6) and other small plates that pair well with almost anything you’re sipping.
9. Winter horseback riding
Horseback riding is definitely a workout even though you’re seated on a saddle. If you want to go all out, you can book at the C Lazy U Ranch for a minimum 2-day stay for $440-$490 per person for adults; $195-$250 for kids. Horseback riding is included and you can also fish and practice archery, as well. The all-inclusive vacation might also include ice skating, sleigh rides, snow tubing and snowmobiling. A Winter Kids Club includes grooming clinics with the horses and pony rides for children under 7.
Sombrero Stables in Estes Park has offered hourly rides there since 1959. If you go back in the summer, you’re able to take a wagon steak ride or a trail ride, as well. Gore Range Outfitters in Silverthorne offers horseback riding in the summer but guided one day, 5-day and 7-day hunting trips all year long.